Sunday, May 24, 2015

Adjacent Possible

My involvement with the Casualty Actuarial Society recently started.  I'm on a council tasked with changing the professions culture to be innovative.  I've spent the last couple months learning about what innovation is and all the companies out there that have this illusive quality.  It's really a pretty cool job; I'm helping change the whole profession to be more relevant and shed the image of the stereotypical actuary that is nerdy and is not effective because they lack some important social skills.  I'm the perfect person for the job:P

There's good reason the innovation quality is illusive. There are many "experts" and I work with a consultant who I assume is pretty expensive.  I've read a lot.  It sounds like lots of buzz words so far and not much substance.

I changed my mind all of a sudden.  Well sort of; innovation is pretty intangible. I read something that resonated and I want to write it down.  I've spent much time thinking about taking things step by step and how that gets me to a place far from where I began.

I read about an idea the author coined "the adjacent possible".  The author barely referenced coming up with ideas and innovation buzz words.  He talked about nature.  It's about how things don't just *happen*.   It's rare in nature and in ideas that things "ahead of their time".  There's steps that need to happen to get from one place to another.  "Doors" need to be opened for other "doors" to be reachable.

There's no skipping.  Taher, keep opening doors.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Hubble

The Hubble telescope just celebrated its 25th anniversary. It's being hailed as the greatest scientific achievement. I've been reading about it in the many news stories commemorating it. Some cool facts I've learned are:

It can see a dime from 25 miles away
It's public and anyone can request to use it
It can see 13.4 billion miles away
It takes pictures in black and white 
It's moving at 5 miles per second 

In short, it's amazing. Coincidentally, I'm reading a Sci Fi book written years before the Hubble went into space. It has awesome and beautiful descriptions of space and things that we can only imagine. The book describes well things that we don't know are there. 

The Hubble has let us see things we didn't know were there. There are moons and planets and galaxies we didn't know existed that we can see now. The Hubble inspires belief that just because something isn't apparent yet it will be. 

Both the imagination of the author and the science inspire me to wonder. Taher, don't forget that because you may not understand or see there's more to it. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

texting

Just this week Yusuf started texting.  I'm happy to be on his shortlist of contacts:P

I don't often get to check my messages during the workday.  I checked at lunchtime and I found this gem waiting for me.  If his message is any indication I'm focusing on the right stuff.  Also, I will do well to be open to what Yusuf and Nooriya have to tell me.  Their logic is sometimes simple and flawless.



Thursday, April 09, 2015

Ground Breaking

Last week the site of my eventual home was cleared.  There used to be a house there and now it's gone.  Construction has started and now this new house which I've been thinking about and imagining for a while has taken a step that makes the whole thing real for me in a way it wasn't before.

First, Taher you can't think or say Alhamdolillah enough for being able to do this.

I read Zahra's thoughts about this and I feel very much the same.  It got me thinking about all the house stuff I've focused on recently.

Zahra and I have spent alot of time and energy over the last several years talking about and thinking about this home.  It was an idea and all of a sudden it became real for me.  I was aware, on some level, throughout, of thinking about this home and the future.  I would pause and remind myself that I didn't want to focus too much on the future, on the "finish", for fear of not really being present.  I'm happy to realize I wasn't actually focusing on the "finish".

Now that this house is more real I should be more excited.  Just for the record I'm mega excited.  But I've realized now I will miss my time with Zahra thinking about this part of the future.  I will miss making these tiny decisions about small details in the house.  I will miss doing this project with Zahra.

I don't know that I've written down effectively what I want to be reminding myself.  I guess it's simple.

Taher: It's not about the finished product, enjoy the project.

I plan to enjoy the rest of this project.  And then, Zahra, I promise to think of another one:P

Monday, March 23, 2015

Focus

I'm "going through" something that's out of my control.  I'm in my head and I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who cares or really even notices.

I've tried to "solve" the problem many different ways, but I haven't really been successful.

This is good reminder to me that there are many things that seems like a problem I can solve, but they're not really in my control.

It IS in my control to decide what I focus on.  I can spend my energy focusing on my "problem" or I can focus on other stuff.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Connections

I am reminded today that there's lots of distractions and other stuff in life.  The most important things to me are connections with people.

My strongest and most important connection celebrates an 11 year milestone today.

Zahra, thanks for helping me see the difference between important stuff and everything else.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Man in the Mirror

This is one of my favorite songs.  I've heard the lyrics so many times I don't think about them as much as I used to.  I read this and the sentiment was fresh again.  Hopefully, writing it down helps internalize it a little more...

"Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in then-thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge."